‘Textbook case of lying with statistics’: Free Beacon exposes White House domestic oil production fib

Amidst soaring gas prices, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain is getting fact-checked after insinuating on social media that domestic energy production is somehow higher now than under the America First Trump administration, or apparently under any U.S. presidency.

One expert claimed this is statistic abuse.

One of the first acts of President Joe Biden upon taking office was to reverse America’s energy independence. Yet Klain appears to be touting a “fact” that the U.S. industry is producing an all-time record of 11.18 million barrels of oil per day on average.

In addition to sharing a bar graph, Klain retweeted a tweet with the same premise from U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) who claimed that “The oil companies can still increase output on their existing leases, but the idea that gas prices are high because Biden somehow shut down American energy is plainly wrong.”

The Washington Free Beacon debunked what might be considered misinformation coming from the Democrat-controlled federal executive branch that often laments misinformation or disinformation:

The White House and its allies are circulating a misleading talking point that the Biden administration is overseeing the most oil production in U.S. history…

The claim from Democrats that domestic production is higher now than during the Trump administration is based on a comparison of four-year averages that includes the tremendous drop in economic activity at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic oil production under Biden has yet to come close to the pre-pandemic levels reached under the prior administration…

The Free Beacon analysis of domestic crude oil production data shows that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States produced just under 13 million barrels of oil per day at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020. For comparison, that figure is more than 20 percent higher than the amount of oil the United States produced per day in September 2021. Energy industry expert James Wilson, who runs an oil and gas economics consulting firm, says the White House is abusing statistics to fit a narrative.

“You can claim anything with statistics,” Wilson [he said]. “When COVID hit, the price of oil dropped and then production dropped. Surprise, surprise…The bottom line is that when Trump was president, these companies started producing and oil was cheaper.”


Klain was supposedly relying on content from a liberal blogger for his statistics.

Parenthetically, Klain is the same official who subsequently admitted that “we did every possible thing wrong” during the 2009 swine flu pandemic when Joe Biden was put in charge of the Obama administration’s response to the outbreak. Klain was then-VP Biden’s chief of staff at the time.

Apart from die-hard Biden apologists, there is skepticism about some creative bookkeeping from an excuse-making administrative that is otherwise hostile to the fossil fuel industry.

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